LORDS

Inquiries launched on UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand trade negotiations

16 July 2020

The House of Lords International Agreements Sub-Committee has today launched two further inquiries, seeking relevant evidence on the ongoing trade negotiations between UK-Australia, and UK-New Zealand.

Background

As the Government sets out ambitious plans to agree trade agreements with both Australia and New Zealand, the committee is seeking evidence at first focused on the impact on agriculture and food sectors, the movement of people in professional services and on financial services.

Chair’s Comments

Lord Goldsmith QC, Chair of the International Agreements Sub-Committee, said:

"The committee has ambitious plans to scrutinise the Government’s early priorities for UK post-Brexit trade negotiations. In addition to our ongoing inquiries into UK-US and UK-Japan negotiations, the Government has made clear that negotiating a free trade agreement with both New Zealand and Australia are included in these priorities, with talks having commenced earlier this month and in June.

"With Australia being the UK’s 11th largest non-EU trading partner, and trade between New Zealand and the UK being worth £3bn, the committee will look to focus on the Government’s objectives, the progress of negotiations, and the possible impacts of a final deal for individuals all across the UK."

Questions the committee is inviting evidence on include:

Australia

  • What are some of the points of disagreement in Australia’s recent trade negotiations, that the Committee should consider when scrutinising UK-Australia negotiations?
  • How might a trade deal with Australia help the UK to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and what benefits would there be in joining?
  • What provisions should the UK should seek to agree with Australia on tariffs for agricultural goods imports to the UK? What economic consequences might there be for farmers and the agriculture and food industries of a deal with Australia that diverged significantly from the new UK Global Tariff?
  • What opportunities are there for the UK financial services sector and what provisions do you think the UK should seek on financial services in an FTA with Australia?

New Zealand

  • How reliable do you find the DIT’s assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed agreement with New Zealand?
  • What are some points of disagreement that have emerged in New Zealand’s recent trade negotiations that the Committee should bear in mind when scrutinising UK-New Zealand negotiations?
  • How might the UK agriculture and food industries approach any new competition that might arise from a trade deal with New Zealand?
  • What concessions will New Zealand be seeking regarding indicators of geographical origins on food and drinks, and how do you think the UK Government should respond?
  • The UK Government stated in its negotiating objectives that “New Zealand has an advanced financial services market and an ambitious agreement on financial services could enhance trading opportunities for UK service suppliers”. What opportunities are there for the UK financial services sector and what provisions do you think the UK should seek on financial services in an FTA with New Zealand?

Further information

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